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Electronics 2016, 5(2), 26; doi:10.3390/electronics5020026

Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Node for Telemetry Applications Optimized for Low Illumination Levels

1
Faculty of Electronic Engineering, University of Niš, Aleksandra Medvedeva 14, 18000 Niš, Serbia
2
Department for Mechatronics, ITM School, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Davide Brunelli
Received: 24 March 2016 / Revised: 17 May 2016 / Accepted: 25 May 2016 / Published: 1 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Scavenging for Embedded Electronic Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1874 KB, uploaded 1 June 2016]   |  

Abstract

This paper reports the design of a photovoltaic energy harvesting device used as a telemetry node in wireless sensor networks. The device draws power from the small solar cell, stores it into the primary energy buffer and backup supercapacitor, collects measured data from various sensors and transmits them over low power radio link at 868 MHz. Its design ensures reliable cold booting under very poor illumination conditions (down to 20 lx). The solar cell also enables indirect illumination level detection for the subcircuit that manages stored energy (day/night detector). The device is allowed to draw power from the backup supercapacitor only when it is not possible to gather enough energy from the solar cell during the sleep period. Short lasting and sudden drops of the illumination do not activate the backup power supply. A wireless sensor node design is adjusted to the proposed photovoltaic harvesting circuitry, so the overall power consumption in the sleep mode is less than 25 μW. Also, due to adaptive power consumption, proposed device topology ensures its autonomy time in the total darkness of 81 h. The device has been produced using commercially available components enabling versatile telemetric functionality by the implementation of different sensors. View Full-Text
Keywords: photovoltaic energy harvesting; low illumination level; telemetry node; wireless sensor network (WSN) photovoltaic energy harvesting; low illumination level; telemetry node; wireless sensor network (WSN)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vračar, L.; Prijić, A.; Nešić, D.; Dević, S.; Prijić, Z. Photovoltaic Energy Harvesting Wireless Sensor Node for Telemetry Applications Optimized for Low Illumination Levels. Electronics 2016, 5, 26.

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